The importance of drawing stick figures

Almost every event I draw at people tell me the same thing, “I can’t draw stick figures.” To be honest I thing stick figures are overrated but they are a starting point for most young artists and are even crucial when planning out images for established artists. So when would you use them if you are not in one of those groups?

Many of my customers send me stick figures when commissioning an illustration and want to show me a basic layout to get their idea across. If you are planning a picture, a presentation, or working on getting an idea across to your colleagues then stick figures are a simple way to do so.

For established artists we often layout a project in stick figures to place images in a larger picture or to get the right action for a person in the picture.

For kids it is a way of learning to draw and very important to their development in art. When I learned to draw I was taught myself to draw by copying images in magazines. I developed well and was pretty accurate in my drawings. The problem was that when I started drawing my comic book series I had a hard time moving figures within the book and had to retrain myself to draw figures in different poses. Stick figures were an important part of the redrawing process.

So don’t short change the stick figure as it is an important part of the illustration process. It is a beginning stage for most artists and even professional ones. For non artists it may be a great way t get that idea across, try it.

About the Author

Bruce Outridge is a professional illustrator specializing in caricatures and cartoons. He has been drawing since he was ten years old and entertains for weddings and corporate events. You can learn more about Bruce and his work at